Essential Recordings has begun repackaging all of the Eric Essix back catalog CD's in more environmentally compatible cardboard sleeves, starting with Somewhere In Alabama, his best selling disc on CD Baby and for the label! Each of these catalog recordings will feature new artwork on the sleeve itself but the track listings and program remains exactly the same as the original.
On Somewhere In Alabama, Eric's style and sound embody the southern influences that inform his playing and composing. He continues to explore this direction on this offering which is heavily laden with gospel, R&B and blues references in a contemporary jazz setting.
The album features a cover of Alabama native, Lionel Richie's hit, "Easy" and a very eclectic treatment of the civil rights march anthem "Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me 'Round" that mixes hip-hop grooves with Eric's jazzy approach to the melody. Eric also includes a very gospel rendition of the Hall & Oates classic "Sara Smile" that has been a staple in his live show for over a decade.
"Somewhere In Alabama's" real strength, however, lies in its seven original compositions all penned by Essix. The songs run the gamut stylistically opening with the funky, soul inflected "Sweet Tea" to the "straight out of the church" title track and closing with the driving Tower of Power influenced "Brown Town". Eric's guitar floats above the well crafted production throughout the albums 55 minute running time often "George Benson" smooth and silky, but at other times revealing his rock and blues influences with snarling, high powered, distortion laced solo's. If you have never heard of Eric but like the music of Norman Brown, early Robben Ford or Chuck Loeb, "Somewhere In Alabama" may be the destination you've been searching for!
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